FEMA to send national presidential alert Wednesday afternoon

BREAKING NEWS Nationwide Emergency Test Alert

Integrated Public Alert and Warning System was responsible for sending out the test.

FEMA is committed to continuously improving the national alert and warning systems and supporting local authorities in getting effective and timely warning to people.

When will we get another message blast in the future?

It's called the "presidential alert", but the President doesn't actually write it. But the concern over an emergency alert earlier this year in Hawaii is being used as an example of what can happen.

Officials estimated Tuesday that upwards of 225 million US mobile phones and other devices like smartwatches would receive the alerts broadcast by cell towers, or about 75 percent of all devices.

FEMA officials say they expect the alert to reach 75 percent of wireless-enabled devices, including cell phones and smartwatches. The WEA test can, however, be ducked by powering your phone down.

Wednesday's test was originally scheduled for September 20, but was pushed back when Hurricane Florence hit the East Coast.

What just happened? That odd notification you just received on your smartphone isn't reason for concern, it's simply a scheduled test of the wireless emergency alerts system. The bill that brought this to life was initially passed in 2016, so this is the first time the test has been implemented.

Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security chief, told CBS This Morning that the presidential alert "should be reserved for true situations, true emergencies when we need to get the public's attention".

Not everyone was pleased about the decision to send out the test alert. She said she believes the plaintiffs want to ensure that President Donald Trump doesn't turn the alert system into a second Twitter feed. The notification will sound like the AMBER alert or extreme weather alert.

The Presidential Alert is backed by FEMA in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission.

"Oh my. A "Presidential Alert" emergency".

Hundreds of millions of phones and other electronic devices have been sent the first ever "Presidential Alert" text.

Because the message is meant to include "critical lifesaving information", it's created to reach as many cellphones as possible, even those that aren't activated or don't have SIM cards.

"This is similar to what has been going on for decades on the television", said O'Connell.

You got it just now, right?

The message may also appear on smartwatches connected to cellphones, FEMA said.

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